VanIsle 360 Update

J/Boats Tackle Vancouver Island

Once again sailors are showing that the Pacific Northwest is J/Boat country by taking 1st or 2nd in all three classes in the 2017 Van Isle 360. Thirty keelboats participated in this year’s race, of which seven of them are J/teams (23% of the fleet!).

The conditions for this year’s event covered almost the full spectrum of the Beufort scale with beautiful summer winds up the inside of the island while crossing tacks with the Race to Alaska teams followed by winds kissing 40 knots from Telegraph Cove to Port Hardy with big rolling waves, smooth sailing over the Nahwitti Bar and around Cape Scott to Winter Harbor followed by a brutal 138 mile slog to Ucluelet with waves approaching 12′ and 30+ knot winds and then a beautiful run down the straits to Victoria followed by the most challenging leg of the race – Victoria to Nanaimo with its plethora of navigational choices, currents and light wind conditions. The Van Isle 360 race course is one of the most varied and challenging courses you’ll ever compete on.

Sailing under the Offshore Racing Congress Rule (ORC) class 1 was taken by the beautiful teak decked J/122E Joy Ride owned by John Murkowski. Joy Ride is a 2015 model of J Boats Elegant J/122 and the ride around the island must have been in style with her comfortable two head two cabin layout.  (

2nd in class 1, putting on the steam in the middle of the course was the J/125 Hamachi and her new owners Jason Andrews & Shawn Dougherty. The J/125 continues to prove that high performance can be manageable and even though she doesn’t sport the comfortable interior of the J/122E she can sail you around Vancouver Island through some varied and rather gnarly conditions and bring you into the finish well ahead of much bigger yachts. (
4th place in Class 1 was taken by the J/133 Constellation, just 3 points out of 3rd after sailing such a long way. Built in 2005 and Owned by Ron Holbroock Constellation takes comfort to a new level with her 43′ length and her microwave, television, double heads and plenty of tankage – this is performance cruising at its best.

Class 2 was taken by the J/109 Mojo owned by Mark Hansen. Based out of Vancouver, British Columbia these Canadians took this performance cruiser – arguably one of the most capable performance cruisers ever built – around Vancouver Island and through consistent sailing took the overall win by 4 points over the second place boat. (

Just 3 points out of second after the 9 leg course was another J/109, Serendipity, owned by Tom Sitar. Serendipity pulled off 2 first place finishes and if it wasn’t for an 8th coming into Victoria would have had a chance at 2nd place in ORC 2
In ORC class #3 2nd place, just 4 points back from 1st, was the original J Performance Cruising Boat, the J/30. Designed as the perfect all around cruising and racing boat the J/30 continues to perform over 30  years after its inception – and this 1979, yep 79, naturally took things to a new level and took 2nd place in class 3 racing double handed! Well done Natural High sailed by Mardy Grossman & Scott Shaw-MacLaren.

Congratulations to the Van Isle 360 J/Boat teams! I’m sure you had an experience of a lifetime and showed us all that manageability and comfort can go hand and hand with performance and will put you on the podium.

More Van Isle 360 information & Final Results